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2018 Crypto Exchange Trading Revenue Poised to Double to $4 Billion: Bernstein

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For the most part, the cryptocurrency markets have been operating on all cylinders year-to-date with the exception of one very important metric — price. And now that the bitcoin price appears to have found its footing, today’s slip to $6,410 notwithstanding, that component of the market appears to be cooperating, too. Wall Street research firm Bernstein is acknowledging the industry’s impact, predicting that cryptocurrency exchange revenue may grow more than twofold versus year-ago levels to some $4 billion.

The Bernstein report, as cited in Bloomberg, is entitled: “Crypto Trading — The Next Big Thing Is Here?” The title alone reflects a more open-minded if not sanguine take on the cryptocurrency market, more specifically speculative trading. Last year, leading crypto exchanges generated $1.8 billion in transaction fees, which according to the Sanford analysts is 8% of what Wall Street exchanges made. Based on this metric of transaction fees, cryptocurrency trading was second only to global cash equities.

Courtesy: Bloomberg

The outlook may seem shocking, considering that the bitcoin price is down more than 60% from last year’s peak. But leading cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume Binance, which boasts millions of users, tipped its hand to balance sheet strength. The exchange’s CEO CZ recently provided an outlook, saying the company was on track to deliver record profits this year of as much as $1 billion, as CCN previously reported.  On the low end of its range, Binance is looking at $500 million.

Advantage Goes to Coinbase

Meanwhile, Bernstein analysts are quick to point out that Wall Street banks have largely been on the sidelines of crypto, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan’s crypto trading and blockchain investments notwithstanding. As a result, the could find themselves in an unusual competitive position where crypto exchanges like Coinbase dominate market share. Coinbase already boasts some “50% of the transaction revenue pool,” according to Bloomberg, and fears of fraud coupled with a murky regulatory climate hold the big banks at bay.

“As the crypto-asset class seasons and institutional demand builds, there are a plethora of opportunities for traditional firms,” according to Bernstein analysts, who then pointed to examples across custody, portfolio management and making markets, for instance.

Indeed, the persistent downturn in the cryptocurrency market, particularly in the bitcoin price, has had observers wondering how crypto exchanges could offset the damage. After all, they generate revenue based on trading volume.

Exchanges like Coinbase have been adding coins, most recently Ethereum Classic (ETC) but they’ve got several more altcoins waiting in the wings that they’re looking to support. While Coinbase officials have stated that these new altcoin additions are in response to trader demand, it’s also a way for them to continue to collect trading revenues while the bitcoin price has been stalled. Binance, meanwhile, whose trading volume hovers at approximately $1.4 billion in the last 24 hours, supports hundreds of altcoins.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 60 rated postsGerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.




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Bitcoin, Ether and Ripple Up in the Air as SEC Delivers a Sobering Reminder

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The U.S Securities and Exchange Commission just delivered a sobering reminder to the crypto community regarding the legal status of Bitcoin and Ethereum. SEC Director of the Division Corporation Finance William Hinman originally told a San Francisco conference in June that:

“…based on my understanding of the present state of Ether, the Ethereum network and its decentralized structure, current offers and sales of Ether are not securities transactions. And, as with Bitcoin, applying the disclosure regime of the federal securities laws to current transactions in Ether would seem to add little value.”

SEC Clarifies Crypto Security Stance

Today the SEC Chairman Jay Clayton released this official statement in which he reminded everyone that media statements made by SEC personnel should not be taken as legal pronouncements. Clayton stated:

“The Commission’s longstanding position is that all staff statements are nonbinding and create no enforceable legal rights or obligations of the Commission or other parties.”

In a particular sentence that may have been included specifically to cool the enthusiasm generated from his colleague Hinman’s original statement, Clayton states:

“…our divisions and offices, including but not limited to the Division of Corporation Finance, the Division of Investment Management and the Division of Trading and Markets, have been and will continue to review whether prior staff statements and staff documents should be modified, rescinded or supplemented in light of market or other developments.”

The last part about ‘modifying, rescinding or supplementing’ future documents suggests that the SEC are starting to worry about the effects their own words have on the very market they’re attempting to regulate.

When the original statement by Hinman hit the headlines in June, Bitcoin immediately surged by around 6%. Ethereum benefitted even more from the news and spiked 10% within the space of an hour.

Consequences for Bitcoin, Ether and Alts

The reminder from the SEC is unlikely to affect the average bag-holder, who in all likelihood disregards much of what comes out of such traditional institutions as the SEC. The news is more likely to strike hesitation into the minds of large-scale, corporate investors who thought all of this uncertainty was already behind them.

It could also spell either good or bad news for Ripple, which is currently fighting five lawsuits – including two federal lawsuits – against claims that its token sale represents a security issuance.

Director Hinman’s original statement back in June suggested that decentralization was key to avoiding being classed as a security. He suggested that coins and tokens from centralized blockchains would have a harder time with the SEC:

“Over time, there may be other sufficiently decentralized networks and systems where regulating the tokens or coins that function on them as securities may not be required. And of course there will continue to be systems that rely on central actors whose efforts are a key to the success of the enterprise. In those cases, application of the securities laws protects the investors who purchase the tokens or coins.”

With XRP being the third largest capped coin in existence, its prominence has made it a prime target for those suspicious of the currency’s relationship to the Ripple company. As the lawsuits began to pile up, many began to question what Hinman’s words would mean for XRP.

Today’s clarification by Chairman Clayton could be seen as a reprieve for XRP, as it essentially shelves the decentralization issue for the time being. On the other hand, it could mean that even if XRP is proved to be wholly decentralized, it may have even larger requirements to fill before gaining a positive classification – as could the rest of the entire crypto market.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.3 stars on average, based on 57 rated postsGreg Thomson is a full-time crypto writer and digital nomad. He eats ICOs for breakfast and bleeds altcoins. Wherever he lays his public key is his home.




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FunFair’s Value Expands 20% in a Week amid Catalysts

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FunFair (FUN) has taken investors on a wild ride in the last month along with the broader cryptocurrency market. Most recently, however, the FUN has hit a stride, increasing its value by approximately 20% over the last week. For the month, the coin remains lower by 14% as most ETH-based tokens have been following the lead of the No. 2 cryptocurrency Ethereum, which has similarly posted gains for the week, up 14%, but a loss for the month at 30%.

Source: Trading View

FunFair’s relative strength remains in neutral territory at 47.4, while the MACD level is bullish. Most of the moving averages, however, are signaling sell, with the exception of the EMA and SMA. Meanwhile, despite the fact that ETH isn’t out of the woods yet, if FUN is going to continue to follow its larger peer’s path, it could be in for more gains in the final quarter of the year with a couple of potential catalysts ahead.

Catalysts Ahead

The ETH drivers include the upcoming launch of the Ethereum hard fork on the test network, which brings them one step closer to unveiling Constantinople, which in turn will lead to the integration of scaling technology like Casper. This is what the community is waiting for but whether it can overcome the massive wave of ICO selling remains to be seen.

FunFair has a couple of developments of its own to drive the price higher. When a blockchain project sticks to its roadmap, it’s a reason to celebrate the coin, and FunFair has been moving forward. FunFair just announced that the completion of the first phase of beta testing in which “community testers” tested the mettle of the games with thousands of hands of blackjack and spins of the roulette wheel.

The mainnet testing coincided with the launch of its first casino. FunFair secured an operating license in the Dutch island of Curacao and expects for the maiden FunFair-fueled casino to go live in September. Ethereum Co-Founder Joseph Lubin has identified gaming as a major driver of the network.

Bitcoin’s dominance is currently hovering at 55%, and the combined value of the crypto market is once again perched above $200 billion. If market strategists and technical signals are right, the next couple of months could be a game changer for crypto prices. ICE’s regulated exchange Bakkt will likely launch in November, while Fidelity is reportedly moving deeper into crypto. It’s just a matter of time for prices respond to the blockchain industry advancements and catch up.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 60 rated postsGerelyn has been covering ICOs and the cryptocurrency market since mid-2017. She's also reported on fintech more broadly in addition to asset management, having previously specialized in institutional investing. She owns some BTC and ETH.




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Coordinated Pump Pushes Steem Coin Price Up 25%

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Steem (STEEM), one of the native currencies on the Steemit social media platform, felt a 25% pump in the early hours of Tuesday morning shortly after a bug saw the site go down temporarily.

Round about the same time a flurry of buy calls resounded around the Twitter ecosystem, urging traders to buy into STEEM in anticipation of the upcoming Hardfork 20, which is due to be implemented on September 25th.

With Hardfork 20 now a week away, it appears that a pump and dump group may be trying to draw new hands into STEEM with the intention of dumping their coins when the price hype reaches an appropriate crescendo.

Calling For Buyers

Several posts like this one appeared on Twitter in the late/early hours of last night, urging followers to accumulate STEEM:

“Accumulate $STEEM On Binance Its having HARDFORK on 25th sept price can go x2 soon !!”

The buy pattern started late last night and peaked this morning between 09:00 and 10:00 UTC. By 11:00 UTC tweets like this celebrated the price pump and the assumed gains made for the account’s followers:

“VIP members were told to buy #STEEM and hold. Btw it is 25% pure profit.”

As anyone who has used Steemit will know, whenever a large price movement takes place the platform suddenly receives its own flurry of activity, as users try to figure out where the price is going to end up. STEEM prices affect the subsequent value of Steemit profile accounts, and exchanges like this one were common on the site this morning:

Steemians, as the site’s users refer to themselves, will now be watching the run up to Hardfork 20 very closely. Hardcore users remain skeptical of today’s sudden rise in coin price, and naturally assume that pumpers are using Hardfork 20 as a trigger to make some easy money.

Steem’s 25% Price Hike

From yesterday’s low of $0.699509, STEEM rose in value to the tune of 25.9% en route to a valuation of $0.881178. That peak came at 10:00 UTC this morning, as trade volumes rose 261%, from $2.1 million yesterday to $7.6 million at the time of writing.

The above tweets suggested Binance as the hub for STEEM trades, and around 27.5% of activity has originated from there, with STEEM/BTC the most popular at 24.7% alone.

The most popular hub for STEEM trades, however, is Korea. Over 50% of the day’s movements have come from Upbit and Bithumb, where STEEM/KRW trades dominate. The STEEM price on Bithum even climbed as high as $4.27 at one point, however CoinMarketCap and other statistics aggregators have excluded this price from overall market readings.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.3 stars on average, based on 57 rated postsGreg Thomson is a full-time crypto writer and digital nomad. He eats ICOs for breakfast and bleeds altcoins. Wherever he lays his public key is his home.




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